Char­i­ta­ble knit­ter warmly thanked

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CHRIS­TINE WALSH

While creat­ing a cute woollen gar­ment with your own two hands is an achieve­ment in it­self New Ply­mouth’s Kat Lea has been long been del­i­cately cast­ing stitches.

And her knit­ting nee­dles have a char­i­ta­ble point too.

For the past three decades Lea has helped keep hun­dreds of ba­bies warm by knit­ting woollen sin­glets, bean­ies, cardi­gans, booties, and blan­kets, and do­nat­ing them to the Taranaki Base Hospi­tal neona­tal unit - of­ten reach­ing into her own pock­ets to pur­chase a yarn or two.

Re­cently her out­stand­ing crafty ef­forts and service to the com­mu­nity were recog­nised when she was pre­sented the New Ply­mouth Dis­trict Coun­cil Cit­i­zen Award.

‘‘It just seemed un­real, be­cause I do it be­cause I want to do it. It just never oc­curred to me there would be any­thing like that at the end of it,’’ Lea said.

Lea likens knit­ting to a form of ther­apy and would love to see a resur­gence in the handy skill taught to her by her mum. ’’You’ve got to have the urge to do it,’’ Lea said. ‘‘I will sit here and watch the google box and knit.’’

At 75 years of age her vol­un­teer­ing doesn’t stop at knit­ting. Lea joined the Waitara Lioness Club in 1987 as a char­ter mem­ber and through nat­u­ral at­tri­tion, be­came part of the Mer­ri­lands Lions and is now with the Bell Block and Dis­trict Lions Club.

From hold­ing var­i­ous po­si­tions within the clubs her in­volve­ment has spanned count­less Lion and Lioness com­mu­nity projects. Ear­lier this year she re­ceived her 30-year service Chevron Award.

‘‘I like knit­ting and I like giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity, so through Lions, that gives back to the com­mu­nity the whole time, and in knit­ting for the neona­tal unit, it was a com­bi­na­tion of the two.’’

With this year’s re­cip­i­ents of the Cit­i­zens’ Awards noted as out­stand­ing due to their years of ded­i­ca­tion and how much they have given back to the com­mu­nity, there’s no doubt Lea more than fits the bill.

Lea was born and raised in Waitara and will con­tinue do­ing the things she loves to do, for peo­ple within the com­mu­nity she loves too.

‘‘Taranaki is a good place to live, I’ve lived here all my life, but i’ve trav­elled over­seas a few times.’’

‘‘You fly back in and see that moun­tain, it makes you feel at home.’’


Kit Lea was hon­oured for 30 years of service knit­ting for the Neo-natal unit at Taranaki base hospi­tal.

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